Skidaway Abigails  l  March 2023

Abby says...

To help celebrate the tenth anniversary of Skidaway Abigails, we’re offering monthly quotes and fun facts from the original Abigail. 

I've always felt that a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.” 

An intelligent, well-traveled observer of world politics, Abigail Adams offered her honest opinions on current topics.  She was known as "Mrs. President" during John Adams' administration, in light of the influence she exerted over his decisions.

Submitted by Patty Koch

President's Message

In a February talk via Zoom, Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Mark Niesse, who tracks elections and voting rights in Georgia, discussed what we can expect in the legislative sessions of 2023 and 2024 (see below). Niesse provided a comprehensive look at the impact of rapidly changing voting laws on election integrity and on our democracy. 

Planned Parenthood Southeast is an organization committed to providing reproductive health care and education to individuals and families in the Southeastern region of the United States. If you're interested in learning more about the current state of reproductive health in Savannah, you won't want to miss the opportunity to hear from these experts. They will provide an on-the-ground look at the challenges facing individuals seeking reproductive health care and how Planned Parenthood Southeast is working to address those challenges. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from knowledgeable professionals and engage in an important conversation about reproductive health. Don't miss out! (see below)

Vociferous debates about the border crisis and immigrant rights continue at the state and national level. The Abigails Advocacy Committee is closely watching issues involving immigrants’ access to schools, housing, jobs, and legal status. Keep your eye on the progress of the Dream Act of 2023. In an unusual show of bi-partisanship, Democratic Senator Dick Durban from Illinois and Republican Senator Lindsay Graham from South Carolina have just co-authored a bill that would allow certain undocumented residents known as “Dreamers,” who came to the U.S. as children, to earn lawful permanent residence. This is the fourth time since 2001 that this legislation has been introduced in the Congress. 

Save the date for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Abigails on April 26. The invitation is coming soon.

Best Wishes,

Susan Terrio

President, Skidaway Abigails

 Upcoming Events

Facing the Post-Roe Reality in the Southeast

March 9, 2023, 3:30 PM

The Azalea Room

Palmetto Club in The Landings

Co-ordinated by Sheila Grossman

Planned Parenthood Southeast

A panel of staff and board members from Planned Parenthood Southeast will share news and updates on public policy, sex education programming, and patient services from across their three-state service area of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade

Speakers include:  

  • Vivienne Kerley-de la Cruz, Georgia State Director
  • Jessica Swanson, Community Health Educator  
  • Aubria Hull, Patient Navigator
  • Julie Wade will give insights from her seat on the PPSE Board of Directors. 
  • Cecila Tran Arango, a special guest from Planned Parenthood Southeast's storytelling event on March 8, will perform her piece from the Hell Hath No Fury showcase.

Julie Wade a member of the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood Southeast will introduce the panel.  Julie is a lawyer by training who has served Savannah’s non-profit community since 2017.   As Executive Director of Park Place Outreach, a teen homeless shelter, she added new programs and doubled the budget to be able to serve more youth more comprehensively.  

Julie is currently Executive Director of Tharros Place, a new nonprofit that is going to  provide support and shelter for survivors of human trafficking by providing residential services for girls between the ages of 11-17. 

Because this event is being held at the Azalea Room of the Landings Palmetto Club, we will have limited seating. Please register early.

    Program Re-Cap

    Georgia’s tipping point: Voting rights and elections at a crossroads in ‘23

    February 9

    Co-ordinated by Susan Terrio

    Mark Niesse

    Political Reporter

    Atlanta Journal Constitution

    Our program February 9th via Zoom featured Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Mark Niesse, who tracks elections and voting rights in Georgia.  Niesse described Georgia as a "big deal," being the heart of voting rights with changes happening fast here.  He described the state as politically divided with a racially diverse electorate.   Niesse discussed SB 202, the Georgia voter law passed in 2021 which limited early voting, including a ban on giving out food and water to voters waiting in lines and moving drop boxes inside polling places.  He pointed to ways other states get out the vote including same day voter registration, and no excuse absentee ballots.  Regarding the redistricting which occurred here in 2021, he stated that the way districts are being redrawn is no guarantee of future results as there are so many people moving into Georgia and people living in the state moving within it that the population in redrawn districts may change quickly.   Niesse urged the audience to read the news and support journalism and encouraged participants to contact their own legislators as he believes they do listen to what their constituents tell them. 

    Help Us Celebrate Abigails 10th Anniversary

    Member Spotlight

    Joyce Conant 

    Growing up in Michigan, Joyce’s interests included learning languages and what made people tick.  After graduating from The University of Michigan with a psychology major and Spanish minor, Joyce and her husband moved to Washington where a career opportunity led them to Taiwan.  There, they studied Mandarin Chinese at the Foreign Service Institute for two years then moved to Hong Kong. 

    Their three years in Hong Kong were thrilling - fascinating social activities, multiculturalism, graduate study in psychology at Hong Kong University, and the best part, she and her husband became parents of identical twin daughters. 

    Two years after returning from Hong Kong, they moved from Washington to Canberra for four years.  Joyce taught English to international students and studied linguistics at Australian National University.  Returning to the U.S., her seven-year-old daughters spoke with Australian accents which disappeared within the first week.

    Back in Washington, she taught for twenty-seven years at Georgetown University’s Center for Language Development, a program to improve foreign students’ English proficiency.  Her specialties included developing English language programs abroad.  She designed and taught in short term English programs in Rabat, Krakow, Taipei, and Beirut.  During her Georgetown career, she took several year-long leaves of absence to live in London and Frankfurt due to family career opportunities.

    In 2006, Joyce married Ed Conant and moved to The Landings.  Her first political activity was distributing Obama flyers in Forsyth Park.  In 2020 she and Ed worked with the League of Women Voters to raise money to install eight ballot boxes throughout Chatham County.  They subsequently volunteered to help election officials collect ballots from boxes.

    She has served on Landings Association committees and Landings Club Scholarship Committee for five years, two as chair.  Since moving here, Joyce and Ed have traveled to twenty-five countries.  She enjoys bi-weekly tennis, considering herself an average, but avid tennis player. 

    Joyce believes she was in the right place at the right time when the Abigails came together.  A member since the beginning, she appreciates the camaraderie and comfort of being with like-minded, progressive, and spirited women. 

    Thank you, Joyce, for your commitment and service to Skidaway Abigails.



    Please join us in giving a very warm welcome to Jeanne Hanrahan, Laurie Sattler, and Lynn Smith as the most recent new members of our Abigails community.  They’re looking forward to getting involved and meeting other members at our upcoming events.

    We know you are thinking “How do I get one of the Abigails logoed metal name badges?”  The name badges are $10.00 each (including tax and shipping) and you can get more details and order online by clicking HERE.  

    If you know other progressive, liberal women who might be interested in joining Abigails, please refer them to our website for information or have them contact us directly to learn more.  We welcome anyone from the Savannah area with like-minded interests.  You can also introduce your friends to Abigails by bringing them as a guest to one of our monthly events for only $10. 

    Elizabeth Cowell and Sue Stephenson, Membership Co-Chairs


    Abigails Advocacy

    Submitted by Sue Stephenson

    Over the past three months, our Abigails Advocacy Committee has been investing time in support of Housing Savannah.  This 501(c)3 non-profit organization was incorporated in 2022 as an outcome of Mayor Van Johnson’s Housing Savannah Task Force, with the goal of building community partnerships to help make housing available, accessible and affordable for all Savannah residents.  Through a series of meetings with Executive Director, Laura Lane McKinnon, the Abigails Advocacy Committee is helping her to develop Housing Savannah’s Mission and Vision statements, key talking points and logo.  Laura Lane has described this long-term collaboration with the Abigails as “invaluable and inspirational”.  We look forward to providing more updates on the progress of this critical initiative.

    Abigails Video Chat

    February 28

    March 14 & 28

    3 PM  Zoom Meetings

    Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

    Now that people are out and about more frequently, we are scheduling our Abigails Video Chats on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. We hope you'll consider this easy and fun way to check in with other women and take an hour to talk about everything that's going on in our crazy world!

    Reel Time

    March 13 & 20 at 3:30

    16 Robert Reid Court

    Coordinated by Annette Carnow

    While Governor DeSantis has been railing about WOKE history and blocking AP classes in Black Studies, the Abigails have been trying to broaden and deepen our knowledge and understanding of our Nation’s history.  Like the 1619 Project, the upcoming  Reel Time film Who We Are: a Chronicle of American Racism, will leave you dumfounded and amazed and will leave you asking yourself, “Why didn’t I know this? Why wasn’t I taught this in school?" Through personal anecdotes, and interviews with survivors, criminal defense/ civil rights attorney, Jeffery Robinson, builds a compelling case full of shocking revelations of how  white supremacy and racist doctrine that was foundational in the creation of our Nation and has continued to affect every aspect of our history through the generations.

    In order to have sufficient time for discussion of this illuminating movie, we will watch it an hour at a time on two consecutive Mondays, March 13 and March 20 at 3:30.  We will meet at the home of Annette Carnow at 16 Robert Reid Court.

    Join us to learn about the history that was omitted from our text books and that may be continued to be suppressed if the conservatives get their way.

    Dining Out!

    Coordinated by Diane Hartley

    Join us for dinner at Savannah’s newest Mediterranean restaurant "Shuk".

    Wednesday, March 22  5:30. 

    1313 Habersham St, Savannah, GA 31401.

    Limited to 16 people.

    Please register below.

    Questions? Contact Diane at

    New Monday Canasta Group

      Our Friday Abigails Canasta group continues to be active and is coordinated by Sue  Kantor.

      We have a new Monday Abigails Canasta group.  We play the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 2-4pm. If you are interested in playing please contact Diane Hartley. ( 

      Book Clubs

      The AM Book Group meets at 10 AM on the third Wednesday of each month. It currently is full but I would be happy to hear from anyone who would like to join the wait list.  Please contact Sheila Jannino at

      The PM Book Group 

      If you would like to join this group, please contact Phyllis Aaron at 610-203-4393 or  

      Message From Your Board of Directors

      Your 2022-2023 Board of Directors, like you, are proud Abigails members.  We are committed to serving the mission, and the members, of Skidaway Abigails.  We look forward to a great year with our Abigail friends and sisters in action!


      Susan Terrio


      Susan Kurtain


      Diane Hartley


      Betsey Andersen

      Programming Co-Chairs

      Shanti Stone

      Carolyn DeFrancesco

      Social Co-Chairs

      Nikki Berdy

      Sue Kantor

      Membership Co-Chairs

      Elizabeth Cowell

      Sue Stephenson

      Activities Chair

      Pat Wallace

      Communications Co-Chairs

      Shari Panitch

      Sheila Stallings

      IT Co-Chairs

      Sheila Grossman

      Susan Kurtain

      Advocacy Chair

      Sandi Parshall


      Betsy Beekman

      Mission Statement

      The Skidaway Abigails is a nonpartisan organization of progressive, liberal women whose purpose is to provide engagement opportunities for social, educational and advocacy activities to its members. We welcome women who support our values to join us, regardless of residence, race, ethnicity, age, religion or gender identification.

      What We Value

      A strong commitment to women's health and safety including family planning; health education, screening and research; and protection from domestic abuse and the full range of offenses against women, from harassment in the workplace to sex trafficking.

      A society that provides services for its poor and its children including basic shelter, food, physical and mental healthcare, quality fact-based education, childcare, pre-K development and college opportunity.

      Fair and equitable treatment for the working class including a livable minimum wage; pay equity for women; reducing the gap between the average employee's compensation and corporate executives'; affordable health care; a future in our country for working immigrants; and equitable treatment under the criminal justice system.

      Fair and equitable treatment for our Lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual/ Transgender population in all aspects of our society. We support their right to marry and create a family,

      Regulation that respects individual freedom while protecting the community including the licensing and control of firearms; and eliminating unwarranted surveillance, personal data collection and criminal profiling.

      Protecting our planet from mankind's impact on earth's climate and precious natural resources ranging from fresh water to the honey bee. We want to better understand opportunities to enhance sustainability.

      Being informed and represented on political issues related to our values including voter registration and the right of citizens to vote; the stated positions of local, state and federal candidates; and access to articles and subject-matter-experts on value-related issues.

      Current Elected Officials Contact Information

      Governor Brian Kemp
      206 Washington St, 111 State Capitol. Atlanta, GA 30334

      (404) 656-1776

      US Rep. (Dist. 1) Earl "Buddy" Carter

      6602 Abercorn St, Ste 105B, Savannah, GA 31405

      (202) 225-5831

      US Senator Jon Ossoff

      Hart Senate Office Building, Suite 825 B&C

      Washington, DC 20510

      202-224-3521 (DC)

      US Senator Raphael Warnock

      Dirksen Senate Office Building, Suite B40D

      Washington, DC 20510

      (202) 224-3643 (DC)

      State Senator Ben Watson

      320-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg, Atlanta, GA 30334

      (404) 656-7880

      State Senator Lester Jackson

      110-B State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334

      (404) 463-5261

      State Representative Jesse Petrea

      408-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg, Atlanta, GA 30334

      (404) 657-1803

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